Commenting on a planning application

You might find out about a planning application from the Council because:

  • we have sent you a letter because you live close to the application site
  • you see a notice we have put up at or near the site
  • you see a notice we have put in the local press
  • someone tells you about it
  • you have registered to receive alerts from our Public Access system

If the Council has given notice (first three options above), it will say how long you have to comment. By law, the Council cannot decide an application until it has allowed the public 21 days to submit comments. If you found out by other means, it is worth checking you still have time to comment - you can do this by searching for the application on Public Access.

What should I say?

Comments on planning applications are published on Public Access, so you should only say what you are happy for anyone to read. Objections or supporting comments on applications must be impersonal and should concentrate on the planning issues relevant to the proposal. The Council reserves the right to remove comments that it thinks might be libellous or abusive. To avoid problems we recommend that you:

  • do not mention other people - concentrate on the proposal instead
  • do not suggest that anything another person has said is untrue

We will remove or obscure personal data such as your signature, telephone number or email address but your name and postal address will be visible.

We can only take account of things that are relevant to planning and to the application. This will always be a matter of judgement depending on the case but some things are never relevant:

  • impact on property values
  • ownership and access disputes, covenants and other private property matters
  • loss of a private view
  • commercial competition between firms
  • the motives or morals of the applicant or any other person
  • matters controlled by other laws such as licensing or health and safety

Some of these, such as ownership disputes or licensing laws, might prevent the applicant from carrying out the development, but they are not planning issues.

Please note that the fastest way to have your comments processed and published is to use the Public Access system. Using the Public Access system you should normally see your comments posted within the next day. Any comments received via the email box or post will normally require up to ten working days to be processed and published.

Will you keep me posted?

If the application is amended we may notify neighbours and allow time for any further comments. However, this is discretionary and will depend on the nature and scale of the change.

If you have submitted comments on an application we will tell you what the decision was.

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